Islamic State’s secret army: Women and children play ‘increasing role in terror attacks’

Tuesday, July 24, 2018
By Paul Martin

“Significant gaps” exist in the recording of the numbers of women and children with links to Islamic State, a new report claims.
Tue, Jul 24, 2018

The roles of women and minors will become more important in maintaining the legacy of the caliphate and have “demonstrated their prominence as security threats” but their numbers are “significantly underestimated”.

The King’s College London report, called From Daesh to Diaspora, said an estimated 850 people travelled from the UK to support IS in Iraq and Syria, including 145 women and 50 minors.

Of the 425 returnees, only two women and four minors were listed.

Joana Cook, senior research fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and report co-author, said: “We consider women as potential security threats based on several factors.

“[These include] the physical security roles and related training that women have undertaken in IS-held territory, and the potential to transfer or apply these skills in other locations, or to pass these on to other people… including other women and their children.

“The narratives within IS itself related to women’s roles in combat have also evolved… women have now been told it is obligatory to fight under certain circumstances.”

The under-estimation of the numbers of women and children, and the changing roles of women within IS ideology, suggests the danger these groups present is higher than previously thought, the paper said.

Researchers highlighted the “evolving and seemingly increasing roles as perpetrators of terrorist attacks”, saying they often took one of three forms: women-only cells, family cells, or individual women perpetrating attacks.

The Rest…HERE

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